H2020 puzzle’s pieces: a more sustainable Europe

Viernes, 01 Junio 2018 06:57

In my post of April I try to show you the future health challenges that this last programming period is focusing on. We have completed half the H2020’s puzzle but there are still some pieces missing. Today I will go deeper into the challenge of building a more sustainable Europe.

Achieving the commitments made in the COP21 Paris Conference in 2015, as well as the Energy Union Initiative (one of the 10 priorities of the so-called Junker Commission) have marked this last work program enormously.

The challenges that Europe faces are global, therefore, the solutions and commitments acquired by the EU must be global too. That situation makes international cooperation with countries beyond the EU crucial in this respect, as it is reflected in many of the topics in the 2018-2020 Work Program.

In short, Europe seeks to give effective and long-term responses to some of the challenges that our planet will face in the coming years. In this sense we have detected the following Hot Topics for a more sustainable Europe:

  • Climate change mitigation
  • Energy transition
  • Zero emissions transition
  • Green vehicles
  • Sustainable development
  • Circular economy



What is behind these Hot Topics?

More sustainable EuropeMITIGATION

The change of vocabulary used by the EC often gives us an idea of ​​the profound changes that are taking place. We are not trying anymore to stop climate change but to mitigate and resist it, which tells us that unfortunately the climate change is already a fact and that it is necessary to carry out actions that limit the magnitude of it. In this sense, 35% of the total budget of this program is dedicated to the so-called Climate Action.

In the H2020 work program we have detected that special attention is paid to actions that lead to the transition and energy efficiency as well as to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.



The energy transition is one of the fundamental priorities of the Energy Union Initiative. Europe aims to lead the renewables market in a bid to decarbonize the energy system, focusing especially on those of marine origin, less exploited than solar or wind. Special mention is made to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, since they account for 40% of the total energy consumed in Europe, the development of better energy storage solutions or the empowerment of consumers for their active participation in this transition.



Another major challenge is the reduction of emissions, especially in transport, since this sector represents at least a quarter of the emissions of greenhouse gases which are not only harmful to health but they are becoming a real problem in cities where the permitted limits of pollution are exceeded. This is the reason why Europe is committed to an efficient transport system that reduces the impact on climate and is less dependent on fossil fuels as of the import of energy. Special mention is made to increase the capacity of so-called carbon sinks, through reforestation, or carbon capture and utilization systems.



This transition to zero emissions implies the generation of alternative forms of transport, called green vehicles, increasingly demanded thanks to the technological advances that have occurred especially in terms of storage systems and energy load. Europe wants to support European industry to be able to maintain its leadership in the market by making third generation electric vehicles, with a range of more than 400km and help them penetrate massively in the market. EU wants to accelerate the critical aspects for the mass production of these vehicles, such as the assembly of batteries, the improvement of accessibility to recharging by users or the adaptation of cities to the mass circulation of these vehicles.



60% of the objectives that have been defined by Europe are directly related to the contribution to sustainable development, both in health, as in food, energy, agriculture, transport and efficiency in the use of resources aimed at building a low-carbon future. Special mention deserves the improvement of crops to cope with the increase in population, and the consequences of climate change such as the increase in temperature, higher concentrations of CO2 or the increase in pests.



Europe bets on this program for the circular economy as shown by the 941 Million euros budgeted for this last period. In this topic there is place for a variety of regenerative systems in which resource input and waste, emission, and energy leakage are minimised by slowing, closing, and narrowing energy and material loops. This can be achieved through long-lasting design, maintenance, and repair, reuse, remanufacturing, refurbishing, and closed recycling loops.


How this actions will be funded?

This challenge of building a more sustainable Europe will be addressed through different parts of the work programme, mainly within the following Societal Challenges of H2020: Bioeconomy, Energy, Transport and Climate Action. It is estimated that for these Hot Topics the allocation of budget and resources will be as follows:


Hot Topic

Estimated Budget

Estimated Nº Projects funded

Main financial Instrument

Zero emissions



100% Research and Innovation Action

Energy transition



50% Coordination and Support Actions

Green vehicles



80% Innovation Actions

Circular economy



50% - 50% Research and Innovation Actions – Innovation Actions


Now is your turn to define a cleaner and more sustainable future for all of us!



Reyes Sansegundo Romero

Proposals Coordinator and R&I Consultant

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Research Technology Development and Innovation S.L. (RTDI)
MEEU - Centro de Negocios Factoría. Estación de Chamartín s/n - 1ª planta
Madrid, 28036, España

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